Why we should always give children a say in elections

It is just not disputed that today's affluent societies don’t take the interests of the younger generations into consideration thoroughly. This is just not only because children cannot vote and older people are inclined to appear for elections in higher Numbers. Another reason is the ageing population of many societies, which demographically comes on the expense of younger people.

In Italy, for instance 60% of the population is over 40Although the numbers within the UK should not quite as high, the phenomenon remains to be largely the identical – with pensioners Excess of youngsters.

The neglect of youngsters and young people in British politics is apparent. Childcare is in crisis. State schools are underfunded and understaffed, and young people should pay high tuition fees. They also face a difficult labour market and can’t stay up for an honest, secure pension. It can also be far more difficult for them to buy a housein comparison with previous generations.

And all this without even considering the climate crisis or the query of how COVID Children's lives and social circles have shrunk dramatically. It is obvious that children are directly affected by political decisions and measures. But they haven’t any say in elections.

In some places the voting age has already been lowered to 16 for some elections. Research shows that young persons are more prone to proceed voting in the event that they start at 16. Labour is now proposing this for Parliamentary elections in Great Britain.

Many wish to lower the voting age further, until 12 or even 6-year-oldsBut any age above 0 leaves tens of millions of youngsters without representation for his or her interests. This problem could be solved by giving children proxy votes from birth, solid by their primary caregivers. We can mix this with any voting age we see fit.

A proxy vote occurs when an individual transfers his or her voting rights to a different one that votes on his or her behalf. already utilized in elections. It could work similarly with children and their parents or guardians. Rather than delegating, we’d use our registers to record who a baby's primary carer is and authorise parents or guardians to vote on their behalf in the event that they should not yet sufficiently old to vote themselves.

Giving children’s interests a voice

The idea of ​​a proxy vote for youngsters was proposed by academics and activists and has been discussed by politicians for a long time, but has not yet been tried out.

Some could also be concerned about this concept, fearing that primary caregivers will use their votes for their very own profit slightly than that of the kids. Of course, their interests should not the exact same. But they overlap widely on key policy issues – from high-quality childcare and education to generally improving young people's life prospects.

For example, when prospects are poor, young people remain economically longer depending on parents.

And even when some caregivers use proxy voting poorly, that remains to be higher than if the kids's interests weren’t represented in any respect. In addition, we could limit the variety of possible additional votes per primary caregiver, so that individuals with multiple children wouldn’t have more votes.

Some should still imagine that the indisputable fact that carers can solid more votes shows that society values ​​families greater than those without children. But that could be a misunderstanding of proxy voting. It is solely obligatory to present children's interests the suitable weight in our politics given our demographic trends.

Mothers and children leave their local polling station.
There isn’t any valid reason to exclude children from the proper to vote.
Ruskin Photos/Alamy Stock Photo

According to philosophers, there are two fundamental reasons to present people democratic right to voteThe first reason is solely that voting is an indication of respect for people as free and equal moral subjects, capable of creating their very own Views on justice and the common good of their society.

The second aspect concerns the positive consequences of the election: If you give people the proper to vote, you avoid many poor social outcomes and increases the likelihood that nobody's essential interests will likely be ignored.

Introducing proxy voting would probably make it easier to show children about politics from a young age and make them lively residents. However, the fundamental argument for that is that their interests will likely be more taken into consideration within the electoral process. With tens of millions of additional potential votes up for grabs, we are able to expect political parties to compete for those votes by advocating for policies which can be fairer to young people.

Given the disproportionate political influence of the elderly, some philosophers have toyed with the thought of ​​no less than to partially deprive them of their voting rights (just like the Romans apparently). However, many individuals think this can be a terrible idea: it could be a type of exclusion from politics. The possibility of proxy voting for youngsters excludes nobody.

Instead of a proxy voting system, this election is an excellent opportunity for folks to consult with your kids in regards to the democratic process, the problems you care about, and why you vote. You may even wish to take them with you to the ballot box. Research shows that talking to young people about politics can assist them trust in their very own ability to bring about change.

image credit : theconversation.com